Wolfsburg, Germany – Last September the EPA issued a citation to the Volkswagen car company for violating the US Clean Air Act. After an investigation the EPA found that Volkswagen had falsified emission tests and that their cars, during real world driving, were producing over 40 times the legal amount of pollutants into the air (more than 240 O’Donnells according to the International Emission Standards & Practices). Ever since then, Volkswagen has attempted to play damage control in the midst of recalls and difficulties in brokering deals with advertisers. But things may have just gone from bad to wurst for the German car company.
According to Spiegel, a German news organization, consumers have been reporting that parts and pieces of their car are not only outdated but were made during Germany’s Nazi era. Several Volkswagen owners, while working on their vehicles, noticed Nazi style markings on various mechanical parts. One of the first owners to come forward was Frederich Bein who noticed the phenomenon while changing his oil. “When I first saw the swastika it was a bit surprising as you can imagine. As a German that’s a symbol that really jumps out at you.”
When asked what he plans to do with the vehicle, Bein said he plans on keeping it. “My wife has been pressuring me to get rid of the vehicle because of it’s…associations,” said Bein. “But frankly it just runs so well I don’t see the need to do anything rash.”
Many Germans have expressed similar sentiments about getting rid of their vehicles in light of this recent scandal. Apparently, the cars are just too dependable for drivers to give up.
The phenomenon has not been limited to Germany. Somehow, these parts have made their way across the pond and wound up in American Volkswagens. Many Americans did not recognize the markings for what they were at first, prompting some citizens to refer to them as “badass”. But more savvy social media users have recognized the nefarious markings and have been uploading pictures to Facebook and Twitter for an explanation.
The Volkswagen company has vehemently denied that they have used any parts associated with the Nazi Party. A spokesman for the car company, Arnold Toht, had this to say, “These accusations that we have been using Nazi made parts are ridiculous. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find parts like that? If we could get our hands on something like that we certainly wouldn’t be putting them in our cars!” When asked about the photographs of the markings, Toht said he had “no comment”.
The Jewish advocacy group, American Jewish Committee has looked into the situation and is taking it very seriously. The group has appointed famous lawyer Aldo Rayne to head their case and hopefully bring official charges against Volkswagen. Murray Cohen, a Public Information Representative for the Committee said, “We have organized a special legal task force to see what can be done about this disgusting scenario. This task force we have put together has one business, rooting out anti-semitism. And let me tell ya folks, business is booming.”